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Decision for Diss Mere side homes plan is deferred

How the homes could look. Image: KDArchitects/South Nofolk Council
How the homes could look. Image: KDArchitects/South Nofolk Council

South Norfolk Council has deferred its decision over controversial plans for new homes overlooking Diss Mere.

The development planning committee met today to consider the proposal which the developer has scaled back from flats to three homes, following objections.

A final decision was deferred for a site visit, early next month.

Original plans for the site were strongly opposed by both Diss Town Council and the Heritage Triangle Trust and described by one objector as a “monolithic lump” and by another as “a Swiss Family Robinson-style ski lodge”.

Other objectors to plans for the land sloping down to the Mere behind 22A St Nicholas’ Street said the development was out of character with its locality, overlooked neighbouring properties and would have an adverse effect on the community garden behind the town council offices and the Mere boardwalk.

The scaled back homes plan.
The scaled back homes plan.

South Norfolk Council planning officers raised concerns that the development was too large and would harm the views across the Mere and the setting for a number of listed buildings.

But the amended plans were later being recommended for approval ahead of a development management committee meeting this morning.

A report said that the seven objections lodged against the amended plans argued the scheme had not addressed initial concerns.

A bird's eye view of the development
A bird's eye view of the development

Although the Heritage Triangle Trust said it was not against the principle of developing the site, it argued for two houses instead of three, sited further away from the boundary with the community garden.

“A development that enhances the wildlife garden would be welcomed, indeed the trust would welcome working with the developer on the lower part of the plot to enhance its value to both wildlife and the Diss community,” the trust said.

The planning officer’s report says the original proposals had evolved, and that the bulk and footprint of the building had been reduced and, after revisions to the roof, windows and facing materials, the scheme was sympathetic to the conservation area.

A full decision is now expected in a month's time.

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